AWeber Review - Where it all began
Pennsylvania-based AWeber have been in the email marketing business for 18 years. One of their biggest claims is that they invented the autoresponder, which is no small thing. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that one of their promoted features is marketing automation, also seen in a few competitors.
Customers have access to all their features from day one, and it’s only increasing subscriber numbers that increase the membership price. Apart from automation, AWeber offers split testing and their ‘Email Web Analytics’, allowing you to use your own domain for click tracking URLs and tracking product sales easily. Oh and they also have a mobile app!
Now let’s have a closer look and see if being the first also means being the best, 18 years down the track:
AWeber in Detail
|Ease of Use||The menu structure mostly makes sense, although some sections are a little hidden. Where it loses points is that there are sections within, such as the editor, where strange bugs create a negative user experience. Also, their terminology could be confusing for experienced users: automations are called ‘Campaigns’ and regular emails are called ‘Broadcasts’. The fact that you need to sign up with a credit card for the free trial also feels a little archaic.|
|-Editor||The editor took quite a while to get my head around but, in saying that, it did allow for a number of sections I needed to create our monthly newsletter, such as triple column sections and text with in-line images. It definitely looks a little dated when compared with other email editors. And, once again, the bug-monster reared its ugly head, with the template selection panel jumping all over the page (see video).|
|-Personalization||yes||Similar to other tools, If/Then/Else logic is available in a fairly standard format.|
|-Types of Emails||Classic newsletters, autoresponders, and A/B testing.|
|Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs||There’s quite a good selection of templates available. They are apparently all mobile responsive, but it’s difficult to tell as they aren’t responsive when resizing your window, and there’s no previews available.|
||It’s good to see that they have advanced automation, as only a couple of other tools have this. It would be good to see a little more complexity within their automation system. Their system allows for creating triggered emails, limited to when someone subscribes to a list, or has a particular tag. Then you’re able to send a message, apply a tag or set a waiting period.|
|List Management||AWeber have good list segmentation, allowing you to manage subscribers via their automation features. You can easily set up a rule, for example, that unsubscribes someone from a particular list after leaving another.|
Opt-in & Opt-out- Process
|You’re given style options for pop-up, pop over and lightbox, yet this section really needs an updated design. It’s over-complicated, difficult to navigate. In regards to adding contacts, it has standard options available. One thing to be wary of, though, is that whenever you manually add subscribers, they’ll receive an opt-in email by default. This could be a problem if you’re just moving a few people that have already subscribed.|
|Reports and Analysis||Reporting is good, even though it looks basic. You can get names of openers and clickers, geo-tracking info, and also conversion and ecommerce tracking info. You can also customise your own analytics dashboard easily. There isn’t direct Google Analytics integration available though.|
|Languages||The site is only available in English.|
|-Spam- and Design-Testing||These are not available.|
|-Bounce Management||yes||Soft bounces are counted as hard bounces after three times, then they are unsubscribed.|
|-Storage Available for Data and Images||Unlimited|
|-Social Media Integration||They have basic Facebook integration.|
|-Newsletter Archive||yes||You can link to the homepage of broadcasts, direct link or create an RSS feed.|
|-Authentication||yes||SPF and DKIM are supported.|
|-Own Domain?||yes||It’s possible to use your own tracking domain via AWeber Web Analytics.|
|-Different Access Levels||no||Not available.|
|-Integrations||yes||There are quite a few integrations available, and many big names are there such as PayPal, Etsy, Facebook and more.|
|-Landing Page Editor||no||Not available.|
|Support||Support is fast and friendly, via all mediums. Their knowledge base is good, but it can be hard to get relevant search results at times. I’d recommend email and online chat over the knowledge base.|
|AWeber has the essentials, it just doesn’t provide enough advanced features, or a strong enough user experience, for the asking price. You can get more for your money with other email tools.|
© EmailToolTester Matrix
AWeber has all the basics you need for a small business, and does quite a good job at educating first-time users with its bevy of articles, videos and podcasts. They also create a sense of community via their communications, even sending an IRL letter to new users! The issue is that, apart from customer service, there isn’t a particular area they excel in beyond other tools.
This, of course, would not be a problem if it was priced for budget-conscious beginners, yet the costs are on par with other email tools like ActiveCampaign or GetResponse that offer much more for the same price. And these other tools not only offer more advanced features, but often a more visually appealing (and slightly less buggy) experience at that. One positive is that, no matter how many subscribers you have, each price tier gives customers full access to their features. But these features still might not be enough for the asking price.
22-31.05.2016 - Initial Tests.
Last Update: 31 May 2016 | Steve Lamattina
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Product: AWeber Communications
Server Location: USA
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